Parrots Over Puerto Rico

2014 Sibert Award Winner

About the Robert L. Sibert Informational Book Medal

The Robert L. Sibert Informational Book Medal was first awarded in 2001. It is awarded to the author(s) and illustrator(s) with the most distinguished informational book published in the U.S. in the previous year.

About the Book

Parrots over Puerto Rico is a beautifully detailed piece of art that depicts the life of the Puerto Rican parrots from the flourishing days on the island to their near extinction. This book meets all the criteria of the Sibert Award and was rightfully awarded in 2014.

The book is extremely informative, but also uses language that young children would clearly be able to understand. I also think that the topic of the book is unique. Not many people are aware that these parrots are endangered and the amount of work and effort scientists are taking to protect and save these magnificent birds.

Beyond just facts about parrots, Roth and Trumbore also give a rich history of Puerto Rico. Beginning from when parrots flourished the land in the hundreds of thousands to present day Puerto Rico when less than a hundred live in the wild. The background history of Puerto Rico provides a nice timeline and understanding of why these birds are so endangered.

According to the ALA website, informational books are defined as "those written and illustrated to present, organize, and interpret documentable, factual material." This book clearly demonstrates all parts of an informational book. Also included in the book is a reference section in the back with photographs and even more information about the work scientists are doing to save the parrots. I really enjoyed that part, and felt it added so much to the story and made it feel more real.

Overall, I think the Sibert Award was rightfully given to this very informative book. I can see this being a great resource in a classroom for a science, social studies or even Spanish class. The beautiful illustrations also work extremely well with the narrative and add a great dimension to the story.

Beautifully Illustrated and Detailed

About the Authors

Cindy Trumbore (left) and Susan L. Roth (right) pictured in one of Puerto Rico's rain forests.
Parrots Over Puerto Rico